MANILA - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Rodolfo Salalima, former chief legal counsel of Globe Telecom, to head the newly-formed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
In a statement released Wednesday, Globe said Salalima will be the department's first secretary under the incoming Duterte administration.
Salalima is a Magna cum Laude graduate in Philosophy and Bachelor of Laws Cum laude graduate from San Beda College.
He brings with him over 40 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including being a member of the Executive Committee of the National ICT Advisory Council and President of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators, Inc. (PCTO) and as a Board Director of the Telecoms Infrastructure Corporation of the Philippines (TELICPHIL).
Duterte earlier warned telecommunications companies to improve internet services in the country or face competition from foreign players.
The country's internet speed is the second slowest in Asia, next only to Afghanistan. Internet services in the Philippines is also among the most expensive.
A 2015 Ookla Speedtest showed that consumer download speeds in the Philippines ranked 176th out of 202 countries. The cost per megabit per second in the Philippines is also one of the most expensive with an average value of $18.18, versus the global average of $5.21.
Last May, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III signed into law Republic Act 10844, or the creation of DICT.
The law requires that the department heads have "at least seven years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology; information technology service management; information security management; cybersecurity, data privacy, e-commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector."
The new law effectively abolishes all operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with functions and responsibilities dealing with communications.